Nine years after the mysterious death of Yasser Arafat, Swiss toxicologists and radiation experts have revealed that they have found traces of polonium on the Palestinian leader’s clothes. This almost confirms that the Palestinian leader was poisoned to death in 2004 while in France.
The case report of the findings, published in the British medical journal Lancet is available with The Times of India.
Polonium as little as a speck of pepper is lethal for the human body. The radioactive substance can enter humans orally through food or drink or through inhaling. Radiation poisoning from polonium looks like the end stage of cancer leading to death in just days.
To investigate whether Arafat who led the Palestine Liberation Organization for 35 years and became the first president of the Palestinian Authority in 1996 died of polonium ingestion, the scientists focused their radio-toxicological analyzes on visible body fluid stains from specific belongings – underwear, toothbrush, hospital cap and sportswear.
A thorough analysis was carried out on 75 different samples, 38 of them taken from Arafat’s belongings.
The case report says “The remaining 37 samples were references, which were not artificially contaminated with 21°Po (polonium). These included cotton items that had been kept for 10 years and protected from dust and products of radon decay in an attic”.
The report then said about the findings “Several samples containing body fluid stains (blood and urine) contained higher unexplained 21°Po activities than the reference samples. These findings support the possibility of Arafat’s poisoning with 21°Po. According to biokinetic modelling, the measured activities of 21°Po of samples are compatible with a lethal ingestion in 2004. Moreover, his clinical presentation could not rule out 21°Po poisoning”.
Arafat died in Percy Hospital, France on November 11, 2004 at the age of 75. Doctors were unable to specify the cause of death as no autopsy was carried out in line with his widow’s request. Arafat’s medical records said he had a stroke resulting from a blood disorder.